Nov 19, 2005

BI Vendors Coming to an awful Realization

I read another news article about a story that I've been following for a couple of weeks now. Business Objects, one of the largest Business Intelligence (BI) vendors, has recently purchased Crystal Xcelsius to bring more analytic capabilities to, you guessed it, Microsoft Office products (Excel and Powerpoint). This is following a HUGE trend in the BI industry as vendors are learning the sad truth about their products - no one likes them or really uses them. Most data consumers are still just using BI tools to extract data for analysis in Excel.

Is this a dangerous move? Probably not for data consumers. This does pose serious problems for businesses that are serious about data governance and adherence to SEC regulations and legislation such as SOX. Because users have freedom to manipulate data any way they please, without regard to any change control, they pose a huge threat to their company.

I wish BI vendors would spend more time making their analytics tools more powerful and "Excel" like. BI tools have the ability to keep data authoritative so why not provide the flexibility to move data around, consolidate, and summarize as the user pleases. Oh, they'll claim they can do this, but of all the BI products I've seen (at least the key players anyway) they aren't even close.

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